UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Men studying to be nurses : an exploration of the lived experience of men in undergraduate nursing education Hakami, Rana


Nursing is as a gendered profession dominated by women. Studies have focused on understanding how men function as nurses, and how nursing education can increase gender diversity in the profession. These studies often imply differences between men and women, or sometimes a lack of inclusivity in nursing. Gender may not predict academic success or distress in nursing students; yet students report experiencing nursing education diversely because of their gendered experiences. Gender framework analysis has been used in literature to consider the role of gender in professional identity development for nurses. In these studies, gender is socially constructed or socialized through role-modeling. Based on this assumption, it is possible that undergraduate students who are not yet immersed in the professional culture may experience nursing differently than practicing nurses. Using a qualitative design, men engaged in entry-to-practice Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs participated in semi-structured individual interviews sharing their lived experiences of studying to become nurses. The goal was to use interpretive phenomenological methodology and analysis to give voice to the experience of men studying nursing. The study found the following: participants chose nursing to align their purpose with their personal values; despite being in the minority they had found their professional home in nursing; they made meaning of their experience by processing the incidents where they witnessed or experienced historic gender biased assumptions, and they felt supported in their journey - even though they still desired access to missing resources. In the end, they did not perceive that their gender was a significant part of their experience, but their educational journey was influenced by their gender due to the presence of gender systems.

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